Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

May 20, 2013

Senator Nichols: My five cents

(Continued)

AUSTIN — Campaign disclosure heads to Governor

This week was a big win for a bill I coauthored regarding campaign disclosure. SB 346 cracks down on so-called "dark money," contributions made to tax-exempt political groups who influence elections but are not required to reveal their donors. This bill would require any dark money group that spends $25,000 or more on politics to disclose all contributors who gave more than $1,000. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, these groups spent more than $300 million in the 2012 campaign cycle alone.

After passing out of the Senate 23-6 last month, SB 346 passed out of the House 95-52 on Monday. It now heads to the Governor's desk and, if signed, will be a major step forward for transparency in the election process.

Cottage food bill advances

On Tuesday, I was proud to vote for HB 970 in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. This bill expands the ability of "cottage food" producers, individuals who make food in their homes, to produce more low-risk foods for sale and sell those foods outside the home.

Prior to 2011, it was illegal to make any foods in one’s home and sell it at all. However, in the spring of that year, we passed the first cottage food bill which provided that people could make specific low-risk foods such as cakes, cookies, and jams in their homes and sell directly to consumers, up to $50,000 per year.

The 2011 law has led to the establishment and growth of numerous small businesses across the state. HB 970 will build on this progress by allowing for other types of food to be sold, including foods such as candy, dried fruits and vegetables, and granolas. Perhaps most importantly, individuals will be able to sell these goods at new locations such as farmers’ markets, farm stands and community events.

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Local News
  • Father Mark 3.tif Godspeed, Father

    The news that Father Mark Kusmirek would leave Jacksonville to accept a new assignment Aug. 1 in Longview spread quickly around town this month.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alto City Council examines gas line issue

    City leaders have started looking into the process of moving a gas line that runs from Alto through Wells along U.S. Hwy. 69 to meet requirements of TxDOT, which is widening the road through the city.

    July 26, 2014

  • Proposed JISD budget to get hearing date

    Jacksonville school board members will meet Monday evening for a combination budget workshop, regular board meeting and a summer board retreat, according to an JISD meeting agenda.

    July 26, 2014

  • County leaders to consider backhoe purchase

    Cherokee County Commissioners' Court will meet in regular session 10 a.m. Monday in the County Courtroom in the County Courthouse to consider approval of a backhoe purchase through a cooperative purchasing exchange for Precinct 2.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sheriff's officials bust Mixon steroid lab

    About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 24., investigators and deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a residence on FM 3052 in the Mixon Community near Bullard.

    July 25, 2014

  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday
    morning.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014